In my last post, I mentioned entrepreneur Leah Jones who is the founder of Natiiv Arts & Media. Natiiv Arts & Media provides social media coaching for artists, writers and musicians. She also works with small organizations that want to train their staff on using social media for clients or in the workplace.
Prior to launching Natiiv Arts & Media in January of 2009, Leah worked at Edelman PR as the Digital-Culture Evangelist, one of my favorite job titles. She served on the Strategic Services team and guided research on behalf of brands to understand what is being said online and developed digital strategy based on the findings. Previously, she was the Conversation Analyst (I like this one, too) in the me2revolution—focusing on research and internal communications. She’s also got a degree in chemistry, which underscores Leah’s belief that you don’t have to study communications to learn how to use social media.
Here’s part one of my Q&A with Leah . . .
How did your idea for Natiiv Arts & Media originate?
While I was working with Edelman, occasionally I would give friends, mostly writers and musicians, advice on how to use social media to get the word out about their projects. I chewed on the idea for about a year, but it wasn’t something that I could start on the side while I was working full time at a major PR firm. Then one night, I was hosting a dinner for Yitz Jordan, aka Ylove, and he told everyone at dinner that I’d made a huge difference in his career as a rapper by introducing him to social media.
Another friend, writer Amy Guth, was also at that dinner. It hit me like a bolt of lightning. The bits and pieces of advice that I’d shared with them had really moved them forward in their careers. That was a Wednesday night and on Monday I resigned – January 2009. In the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression, I left a corporate job to start my own company.
What is the significance of the double “ii” in Natiiv?
Natiiv is a Hebrew word that means path and is pronounced nah-teev. So the “ii” is just a transliteration, but I love the way the word looks, sounds and the meaning. It is a new path of marketing for my clients and a new path in my life.
We’re reading a lot about social media yet so many people are puzzled by the whole thing. Why is that?
I think a lot of people are puzzled because either they don’t see why they need another Web site in their lives or the first 5-10 minutes on the site weren’t a good experience, so they write it off. If the site is hard to learn or doesn’t make sense before you’ve connected to people, it can be frustrating and turn people off. Facebook is an example of a site that is confusing when you first sign up – now what do I do? And Twitter doesn’t make sense when you first start using it either.